The Director's Eye: A Comprehensive Textbook for Directors and Actors

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The Director's Eye should be required reading for anyone striving to be a professional in the theatre arts. Writing in the first person from one theatre aficionado to another, Ahart generously shares insights and experiences from five decades of theatre involvement. His passion for theatre is contagious. "Theatre and life are not so easily separated after all," he writes, "not if we are trying to make them both experiences that count." This book gives would-be directors and actors a lens for viewing theatre -- and themselves -- that they will carry with them for a lifetime
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Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Review
John Ahart's The Director's Eye is a comprehensive text for directors and actors is intended for student audiences, but contains practical information which represents a half-century of experience in teaching and directing, containing over thirty chapters on everything from imparting the style and content of a play to the special challenges of comedy and other formats. A 'must' for aspiring actors.
Promoted as a comprehensive textbook suitable for use at all educational levels, this book attempts to provide an overview of the major tasks and responsibilities assigned to professional theater directors and actors. Comprising thirty-five chapters organized into seven conceptual sections, the book offers basic information on rehearsal techniques, script analysis, blocking, and style, concluding with a segment that addresses routine production-management concerns. Supplementary rehearsal exercises are incorporated into each section of the text to hone the specific directorial and acting skills addressed within individual chapters. Dedicated to the premise that theater possesses the power "to help us understand ourselves and the world around us," author Ahart directs his efforts toward creating theater professionals "who can make a difference." Despite its august goals and scope, this work fails to fulfill its promise as a comprehensive textbook suitable for use at differential educational levels. The absence of an index, glossary, and bibliographic materials diminishes the work's usefulness as a student manual, and organization of sections by conceptual theme provides little clarity regarding the sequential process that underlies effective staging of theatrical productions. Successful integration into high school curricula might be limited by the text's ponderous reliance on college-level standards, perspectives, and playscripts. Additionally, rehearsal exercises using scenes by playwrights Harold Pinter, David Ives, and Samuel Beckett might prove unsuitable for use in typical secondary classrooms. Interested theater educators and high school drama students will find Theatre: Art inAction (NTC/Contemporary Publishing Company, 1999) a vibrant, thorough, and germane alternative to Ahart's text. Photos. VOYA CODES: 2Q 1P S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; No YA will read unless forced to for assignments; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Meriwether, 347p, $19.95 Trade pb. Ages 15 to 18. Reviewer: Sherry Korthals SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
From The Critics
John Ahart's The Director's Eye is a comprehensive text for directors and actors is intended for student audiences, but contains practical information which represents a half-century of experience in teaching and directing, containing over thirty chapters on everything from imparting the style and content of a play to the special challenges of comedy and other formats. A 'must' for aspiring directors.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566080712
  • Publisher: Meriwether Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: For the Educator: The View Inside 1
Introduction: For Students, Teachers & Casual Readers: Using This Book 7
Part 1 Basics: Getting Started 11
Chapter 1 A Beginning: Thoughts about the Theatre and Life 13
Chapter 2 The Nature of the Theatre 17
Chapter 3 The Role of the Director: Where to Begin? 22
Chapter 4 Finding the Dramatic Action 27
Part One Assignments Two One-Page Plays 33
Part One Summary Basics: Getting Started 39
Part 2 Rehearsal: A Time for Experiencing 41
Chapter 5 Rehearsal: Entering the World of the Play 43
Chapter 6 Mindset: The Key to Entry 48
Chapter 7 Those Powerful Words 54
Chapter 8 These Things We Do 64
Chapter 9 This Incredible Place 71
Chapter 10 Rehearsal Rhythm 75
Part Two Assignments Pinter Sketches 79
Part Two Summary Rehearsal: A Time for Experiencing 85
Part 3 Analyzing the Script: Blueprint for Rehearsal 89
Chapter 11 Analysis, Discovery and Images 91
Chapter 12 The Rehearsal Unit 98
Chapter 13 Life's Rhythms and the Scoring of the Play 108
Chapter 14 The Concept Statement 114
Part Three Assignments Scenes from Waiting for Godot 119
Part Three Summary Analyzing the Script: Blueprint for Rehearsal 125
Part 4 Style and the Sharing of Viewpoints 129
Chapter 15 An Introduction to Style 131
Chapter 16 Style and the Creative Process 135
Chapter 17 The Theatre and Style 140
Chapter 18 Ritual and the "Holy" Theatre 148
Chapter 19 The Deceptive Challenges of Comedy 155
Chapter 20 Comedy: Nuts and Bolts 160
Chapter 21 Choosing Models over Labels 168
Part Four Assignments Three Preliminary Exercises and Three Directing Scenes 176
Part Four Summary Style and the Sharing of Viewpoints 186
Part 5 Working with Your Collaborators 191
Chapter 22 Communicating with Actors 193
Chapter 23 Memorization: The First of Five Golden Rings 203
Chapter 24 Emotion, Gestation, Boarding and Function: The Other Golden Rings 210
Chapter 25 Working with Playwrights, Designers and Others 218
Part Five Assignments Focus on Relationships and Emotion in Directing Scenes 228
Part Five Summary Working with Your Collaborators 239
Part 6 The Director and the Theatrical Space 245
Chapter 26 Theatrical Space: A Meeting Place for Actor and Audience 247
Chapter 27 The Director's Approach to Space 256
Chapter 28 Design in Space: Sharing Responsibilities 262
Chapter 29 Guidelines for Blocking 269
Chapter 30 Blocking: Lenses for Viewing 277
Chapter 31 Blocking: The Bigger Picture 289
Part Six Assignments Directing a Chosen Scene in a Found Theatrical Space 296
Part Six Summary The Director and the Theatrical Space 301
Part 7 The Whole Picture 305
Chapter 32 From Scenes to Plays 307
Chapter 33 Rehearsal Progression 317
Chapter 34 The Critic and the Director 326
Chapter 35 Miracles, Changes and Basics 332
Part Seven Assignments The Complete Play 338
Part Seven Summary The Whole Picture 342
Acknowledgments 345
About the Author 347
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